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I'm in the process of having the Motor Trike Prowler RT kit installed on my 04. It is being done by Leola Motor Trike in Leola, PA (near Lancaster, PA). They should actually be starting on the conversion this week. If there is anyone in the area interested in seeing what this entails I'm sure they would not object to your stopping by. They are great folks and will be taking a series of pictures of the conversion for me. I've opted for the 2/1 as opposed to a 1/2 conversion for the improved handling and stability.
It's done and I've put about 1,200 miles on it thus far and am very pleased. See attached photos.
 

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Hey everyone, Mike Gassman here! I just wanted to say thank you to CrystalPistol for mentioning my parents and providing these fabulous photos. I have sent them on to my mother, and am going to print them for myself. Also, if there is anything else I can help answer for you, just know that I am here now, and you can always reach me through my website mentioned above. Thanks again, and take care!

-Mike Gassman
 

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CMHBOB asked about my bike since it has been reverse triked and the following one liners summarize the things that I noticed are different when riding with three wheels as opposed to two. They are not in any particular order.

Filling gas is now easier. Do not have to put the bike on the center stand to get a full tank.

Parking is different as the bike could roll away easier than when on the side stand. I now always park in gear or in reverse. I have a set of chocks if needed and a wrap around Velcro strap for the hand brake. I also have a ride off center stand that works very well for parking use.

Road/tire/engine noise is louder and I have to turn the volume up on the radio a bit to hear clearly.

Turbulence from trucks is handled better. I still feel it but the effect is noticeably less.

Side wind loads are also still felt but handled better.

The water thrown by the front tires when riding in the rain is blocked by the fenders and my feet do not get as wet. I’ve added mud flaps but only because I like the look.

Air getting to my feet and lower leg is also reduced. My passenger also noticed a difference in the amount of air she feels hitting her legs.

Steering low speed vs. highway - Slow speed steering is heavier but easily manageable. At highway speeds steering is much lighter and very quick but easy to get accustomed to.

Slow speed turn radius is almost as good at full lock but not quite as tight as with being able to lean.

Traffic light trip plates no longer seem to be a problem. There is a light with trip plate near my home that never worked for my bike but always works with the car. It now works with the trike.

Judging width is not an issue as the two front wheels are in my peripheral vision.

Standing up at traffic lights to stretch when I have a little butt burn is no problem as I don’t have to balance the bike.

Two up balancing while stopped at traffic lights and especially on uneven road or over a pothole is no longer a factor.

My passenger getting on the bike, while holding bike up, is now a non issue.

Same engine temp on highway, slightly higher in stop & go at 90 degrees. Not close to overheating.

Speed bumps & driveway entrance – bottoms out if not careful, must go slowly or at an angle.

Twitchy passenger – no notice to her moving about now.

Grated bridges & grooved roads are no problem at all.

Standing the bike up from the side stand & putting it back down when getting off is a thing of the past.

No more dents in the driveway from the side stand!

Gravel spots on the roads & wet leaves are much less of a concern now. Almost like driving in a car.

Backing up from parking spaces etc. is easier as you do not have to balance the bike and can push more effectively if you are not using reverse.

Pot holes & bumps have to be handled differently. If you can’t go around it you have to decide in advance how to take it. The independent front suspension seems to handle it better ride wise than taking the bump with the back tire.

Can’t drop bike.

Linked brakes – Still activated. The hand brake only controls two of the three front pistons on each wheel. The foot brake controls the remaining front piston plus the rear brake. The bike will hold a straight line when the brakes are applied. Stopping distance is close to the same as with two wheels. I think the extra tire width may help with offsetting the added weight of the trike kit.

Nose dive is almost completely gone in a rapid stop.

Steeper curves at highway speeds require a little technique as it feels like centrifugal force wants to throw you off the bike. Leaning into the turn while pressing down with the outside foot makes a big difference.

Slowing down before the turn and rolling the throttle coming out make the turn just a smooth as when on 2 wheels. Locking the elbow of my outside arm also makes a positive difference.

Gas mileage took a hit. The extra weight and wind drag costs me 2 to 3 mpg. The benefit to my knees make the MPG hit worth while.

The trike is fun to ride. Thought I would miss 2 wheels.

My bike always had a nice comfortable ride. It has actually improved with the reverse trike kit. The independent front suspension and lower tire pressures make a big difference.

Side notes:

No problem getting to the oil filter and oil and coolant drain plugs.

Cleaning bugs out from behind the grill is a pain.

I haven’t tried a car tire on the rear yet but will change over once I wear the E3 down.

No one makes a fitted cover that will cover the whole trike. A half cover does a good job keeping the rear trunk, seat, handlebars and the area from the windshield back covered.

I’ll never have to change fork oil or fork seals again! Bleeding the brakes will also be easier.

The new front end requires far less maintenance than the old forks. Only maintenance to it is two lube points (one on each side).

Washing the windshield is harder as the trunk and fenders get in the way. Not a big deal, really.

When parking on a lot I need an entire space. No more sharing the same space with other bikes.

When you stop somewhere be ready for lots of questions from both other bikers and the general public.

Drive up windows like at the bank and toll booths require me to either get off the bike or lean way over.
 

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Interesting observations .... good / almost exhaustive list actually! Made a few notes to some of what you noted ..... (nice ride you have there). I tell people all the time, I didn't get a trike because I had to, I did it because they always interested me .... and while I love riding a Bike, I also love the Trike ride ..... just for different reasons.

Example only ..... but like on the bike, I never will be seen with a Nikon DSLR hanging on my neck. But on the Trike, it is so easy to pull over almost anywhere out of traffic and harm's way and take photos at places / things that if on the Bike, I'd have to go find a place to stop where I could hold it up or prop it, dismount, and etc. On Trike, just hold brake and take pic.

Not to say a Trike is better, just to say I find each a huge joy in their own rights.



Parking is different as the bike could roll away easier than when on the side stand. I now always park in gear or in reverse. I have a set of chocks if needed and a wrap around Velcro strap for the hand brake. I also have a ride off center stand that works very well for parking use.
Over the years have seen / heard / read stories of guys starting a trike up and walking away as it warmed to return and find it rolled away .... one went down a hill through trees below his garage and was totaled. I recall hearing of one at a motel that was left to warm up and rolled away into a few other bikes parked across the parking lot. I have a "wedge" hanging from my frt master that works .... every trike should have some means of securement at rest I think. Blocks are good too.
Road/tire/engine noise is louder and I have to turn the volume up on the radio a bit to hear clearly.
I notice this with our conventional Trike as well, find that some of it in my case is introduced into headsets via passenger mic.
My passenger getting on the bike, while holding bike up, is now a non issue.
On the trike, "Wife Unit" mounts before I do by first setting the driver seat, holding the handle bars, move feets to rear floor boards, and she stands up and sits back on her seat. Dismount in reverse after me.
Gravel spots on the roads & wet leaves are much less of a concern now. Almost like driving in a car.
Huge plus IMHO .... but they can still spill you as that rear is alone.
Backing up from parking spaces etc. is easier as you do not have to balance the bike and can push more effectively if you are not using reverse.
Almost never will you actually "need" reverse now.
Pot holes & bumps have to be handled differently. If you can’t go around it you have to decide in advance how to take it. The independent front suspension seems to handle it better ride wise than taking the bump with the back tire.
Interesting.
Steeper curves at highway speeds require a little technique as it feels like centrifugal force wants to throw you off the bike. Leaning into the turn while pressing down with the outside foot makes a big difference.
Goes with below .... gives you room to extend and lock that outer arm too.
Slowing down before the turn and rolling the throttle coming out make the turn just a smooth as when on 2 wheels. Locking the elbow of my outside arm also makes a positive difference.
Will reduce fatigue a lot!
Gas mileage took a hit. The extra weight and wind drag costs me 2 to 3 mpg. The benefit to my knees make the MPG hit worth while.
Maybe more .... but it does costs.
The trike is fun to ride. Thought I would miss 2 wheels.
Knew that was coming.
No one makes a fitted cover that will cover the whole trike. A half cover does a good job keeping the rear trunk, seat, handlebars and the area from the windshield back covered.
They will in time. I have a full cover ..... but generally always use a half cover anyway at the motels we visit. Keeps seat & controls / stuff dry of showers / dew.




:)
 

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Hey everyone, Mike Gassman here! I just wanted to say thank you to CrystalPistol for mentioning my parents and providing these fabulous photos. I have sent them on to my mother, and am going to print them for myself. Also, if there is anything else I can help answer for you, just know that I am here now, and you can always reach me through my website mentioned above. Thanks again, and take care!

-Mike Gassman
Hi Mike!

What a surprise it was to see you here .... every time I look back at my pics .... and I have a lot more ..... I am reminded of the great times we had, the wonderful memories, the funny stories, your Dad's humor and your Mom's so amazing grace .... (not to mention her knowledge of old cars and stuff).




:)




Anyone here interested in some absolutely gorgeous restorations ..... you'll spend some time here!http://www.gassmanautomotive.com/
 

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Parking is different as the bike could roll away easier than when on the side stand. I now always park in gear or in reverse. I have a set of chocks if needed and a wrap around Velcro strap for the hand brake.
When I was using a sidecar (1500) or Voyager rig (1800) for our winter funeral escort work, I'd use reverse, or park it downhill into something like a parking space block. Never thought about the strap or the chocks.
 

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Tilting Motor Works - Test Ride Report

OK,

I took a trip to Cherokee Cycles in Greer, SC (closest TMW dealer/installer to me) to take a test ride on a bike equipped with the Tilting Motor Works TRiO reverse trike with the TiltLock system.

I have a lot to report, so grab a beer and settle in!

In short, my test ride was “exciting” for different reasons. It turns out that the TiltLock hydraulic system that levels the bike to the horizon at stops and parking lost speeds has WAY more complicated and robust features and operation than just a regular fixed wheel reverse trike.

Note that I said "level to the horizon". That's different, and better, than any other fixed wheel rear or front trike. Those just stop at the side angle of the road you're stopped on. The TiltLock system truly levels the bike to the horizon at stops, so even if you stop on a steep side hill, you are stopped straight up and down same you do if you hold a bike up with your own feet. That's nice.

Now... because it locks the bike level to the horizon at stops and slow speeds, what I found is that you are basically riding a hybrid bike/trike. At parking lot speeds the bike “trike steers” i.e. turn the bars right to go right and turn the bars left to go left. But, once underway, the TiltLock system unlocks and you are now riding a bike that leans and counter steers just like a two-wheeled bike. Under way on the road, and you really can't tell that you're on a trike. Nice.

I did not have the best test ride experience because I was supposed to have been given a good long training session and parking lot practice (30 minutes minimum) before taking off down the road, as well as afforded the opportunity to read several pages out of the Trio Owners Manual about the TiltLock system operation. The dealer was crazy busy that day so I was not given the full parking lot practice I should have received. I signed the usual waiver, got a five minute overview and sent on my way. That was not a wise thing for the dealer to do. Here's why:

There is a learning curve involved in riding a TRiO equipped bike. Because of this hybrid nature you are transitioning between two different steering paradigms. There is a separate seven-page TiltLock System Training Instruction manual that explains how the system steers differently and outlines a number of parking lot practice drills to learn how to become proficient at riding a TRiO equipped bike at slow speeds. Sure wish I had done it the right way! I plan to make another trip in a couple of months and try it again.

The TiltLock system is designed to hold the bike upright at slow speeds and when stopped. Let me get into some details about the programming logic that controls the TiltLock system. Once you understand its operation you will understand the steering differences.

There is a handlebar mounted switch and indicator light that turns power to the system on/off and indicates its status. Green light indicates the system is on and the TiltLock system is locked. Blue light means it’s on but unlocked. Flashing red indicates a controller redundancy condition that requires attention. Solid red indicates a system fault, which requires that you turn off power to the TiltLock system and continue to ride with it off until the problem is fixed. You would normally never turn power to it off when riding. The system locks and unlocks automatically when riding according to its sensor inputs. The controller senses speed, steering angle, and lean angle. It also calculates acceleration, deceleration, and direction of travel. All of those inputs are used to determine whether, at any given moment, the system should be locked and support the bike or unlocked and allow the bike to lean.

Yes, that sounds like a lot, and it is, but here are the three main rules of operation:

< 1 mph = always locked (bike is held up by TiltLock)
> 1 mph and < 7 mph = locked or unlocked depending on lean angle acceleration/deceleration/braking
> 7 mph = always unlocked (bike is not held up and will lean and counter steer)

So, it’s the in between 1 mph and 7 mph that is the "gray area" that requires the learning and parking lot practice.

The TiltLock system training instructions take you through several rising situations that will be different, for example, making sharp turns and U-turns. These are handled differently depending on your speed through the turn. Another is making sharp turns from a full stop. This is different because you are trying to steer two front wheels while standing still for just a bit which requires much steering effort like a normal trike. The TRiO system also has a Tilt STEER feature to make sharp turns from a stop easier. Basically you make an initial steering input in the direction of the turn before you move. That leans both front wheels in that direction up to 3 degrees which facilitates making the sharp turn much easier. This is another thing that you should practice before heading out on the road for the first time.

So, yes, there is a lot to learn and practice about riding what I say is effectively a hybrid bike/trike. Even without the proper training I managed to do OK on my test ride and didn’t run into anything or off the road. It did put a scare in me a couple of times when I was in those between 1 mph and 7 mph situations and I made steering input that had unexpected results because I didn’t know the “rules” for steering with the TiltLock system on at those speeds. But, now that I know what to do, I’m sure I‘d get the hang of it.

So, the parking lot stuff will be the part that requires practice. The riding at speed on the road stuff is easy. The bike leans and counter steers at speed just like a 2-wheeled bike. That said, the counter steering effort at speed requires just a bit more pressure on the bars because you are moving much more hardware around (two wheels and double wishbone suspension components). It's really hard for me to make an exact counter steering effort comparison since my test ride bike was a full dress Harley and not a Gold Wing. (Did I mention how much I hate heel-toe shifters and foot-forward riding positions?!)

Reports that the ABS and linked brakes on a Gold Wing conversion are not retained are correct. That's not a show stopper at all for me. I really never liked linked brake systems. I'd much rather decide myself when I'm gonna use the front brakes or the rear brakes or both. The front brakes on this this reverse trike are amazing. Two contact patches and two big disc brakes give way more stopping power up front than a stock Gold Wing, and no front end dive either. It would be nice if ABS was retained, but so if you lock up the front brakes on this system? You aren't going to go down like you would on a 2-wheeled bike. The TiltLock system will hold the bike up the moment you lock them up because it "thinks" you've stopped.

The company’s goal is to keep improving the TiltLock system firmware to get to the point that the transition from "trike steering" to counter steering is much more seamless. Their second generation firmware is currently in the field in beta version and they expect the final new version to be available for upgrade within a couple of months. At that point I intend to have another test ride now that I actually know how the system works and how to steer! I'd like to find a dealer with the TMW TRiO system installed on a Gold Wing so I can make a proper comparison.

I'm aware of their current TiltLock system firmware development schedule because a few days after my test ride I got a phone call from Bob Mighell, the owner of Tilting Motor Works! I had been corresponding with one of their engineers via email and reported my "exciting" test ride experience at Cherokee Cycles. Apparently the engineer relayed that information to Bob who was concerned enough to call me to discuss what happened. We talked for about twenty minutes while he explained to me the operation of the TiltLock system and apologized for me not getting properly trained by the dealer before taking a test ride.

So, am I gonna have a TRiO with TiltLock installed on my GL1800? I have my $250 deposit down and am on the waiting list. I really like the concept and I like the looks of the system installed on a bike. I also like that it rides just like a 2-wheeler at speed. I had a good close-up look at the hardware installed on my test ride bike and it’s very high quality hardware that is beautifully finished and looks great, not to mention substantial. These guys build a quality product right here in the USA.

Had I had proper training and a good first test ride experience, I would already be awaiting my installation appointment. For now, I’m gonna wait until after my next test ride with the final TiltLock firmware upgrade to decide.

Yes, it's expensive, but if I can't get a trike that counter steers and leans into turns it's just not gonna do it for me.

OK, you can get another beer now!

***
 

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Thanks for that great article/post....
I have been intrigued by this Tilting trike, but not enough to think about buying one....

it appears that they have several Goldwings already done and in their inventory

http://www.tiltingmotorworks.com/current-inventory/

on their Dealership page, which can't be reached at all, unless you click on the little tiny "New" button...
none of their links to a dealer work.... what a crock.

I sent them an email to try and get their webmaster out of bed, and make him do his job.
 

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Thanks for that great article/post....
I have been intrigued by this Tilting trike, but not enough to think about buying one....

on their Dealership page, which can't be reached at all, unless you click on the little tiny "New" button...
none of their links to a dealer work.... what a crock.

I sent them an email to try and get their webmaster out of bed, and make him do his job.
Hey John,

I've been on their dealer list page many, many times on their web site. Perhaps you've got a browser problem. They have 8 dealers/installers now. All the links to the dealers work for me too. I just clicked on them tonight and they work for me.

Here is the dealer list page URL in case going directly to it might work for you:

http://www.tiltingmotorworks.com/dealer-listing/

***
 

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Hey John,

I've been on their dealer list page many, many times on their web site. Perhaps you've got a browser problem. They have 8 dealers/installers now. All the links to the dealers work for me too. I just clicked on them tonight and they work for me.

Here is the dealer list page URL in case going directly to it might work for you:

http://www.tiltingmotorworks.com/dealer-listing/

***
I switched to a different browser, and the links came up with it,
so they have a problem with their website and Firefox under linux.

I just did some experimenting, and they will NOT allow you to follow a link if you are using a VPN... what the heck????

I turned it off, and it works,
turn it ON and it won't work on their website....
changed countries, and it still wont work

gonna have me a little talk with PureVPN in a few minutes.
 

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Okay,
now back to the ranch, all that time I have been very busy with the PureVPN Chat Helpdesk
https://support.purevpn.com/


the nice lady there gave me some links pointing to how to set up my VPN Profile for Linux, all browsers, not just an Addon extension which I had been using. Turns out the Extension are only geared for Streaming Video movies, not for secure Financial and other web stuff... huh??

oh well, now that I have my Licensed Account setup into a VPN profile, it works like a charm.

Now, I can cruise thru any public WiFi at any McDonald's french fry shop and not worry. :rofl:
 
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